Pioneer_Jay Dunlap

What do you consider to be your most important contributions to chronobiology and sleep science?

Helping to train the over 40 postdocs who worked with Jennifer Loros and me to elucidate the molecular basis of a circadian clock and to define its place in a circadian system

 What are the most important lessons you have learned over your successful scientific career?

Thinking clearly and writing well are more important than having good experimental hands. Having good mentors is essential to success.

 Do you have any advice for trainees and early career scientists?

Take time to identify and think about the most important questions, and spend your energy answering those. Careers are made by working effectively with others; try to be the person with whom others enjoy working.


  • Chen-Hui Chen
  • Deborah Bell-Pedersen
  • Yi Liu
  • Qijun Xiang
  • Robertson McClung
  • Christian Hong
  • Susan Crosthwaite
  • Christian Heintzen
  • Arko Dasgupta
  • Giles Duffield
  • Anderson Garbuglio de Oliverira
  • Patrick Collopy
  • Kevin Fuller
  • Luis Larrondo
  • William Belden
  • Joshua Gamsby
  • Deanna Denault
  • Mari Shinohara
  • Tina Kelliher
  • Jennifer Marie Hurley
  • Kwangwon Lee
  • Anonymous donors



Jennifer Loros and Jay Dunlap’s research on the circadian clock in Neurospora has had a significant impact on the field, one that will be felt long into the future. They are also outstanding mentors, supporting their trainees at every level of career, including my own. The passion, rigor, and energy they put into solving complex circadian problems, including identifying the core components of the clock mechanism that form a 24-h molecular feedback loop, determining how the clock is reset by light and temperature, and insights into temperature compensation, are unmatched and inspiring. They helped the circadian rhythms and fungal fields thrive, having served over the years in many different capacities, including advisory boards, grant panels, award, policy, and program committees, and they are generous in providing the field with critical new tools. They conceived, were major contributors, and edited, the first comprehensive book on chronobiology that is a must-read for clock students and researchers.


I did postdoc in the Dunlap/Loros lab. I really appreciated so much supports from Jay and Jennifer! 


The SRBR Pioneer Program would be incomplete without Jay Dunlap and Jennifer Loros. Jay and Jennifer have driven and shaped the circadian field over the past 30 years, not only through careful and diligent research but also through the top notch community of scientists whom they have trained. Even in the lab today, Jay and Jennifer strive to teach classic circadian literature along with cutting-edge work in current journals, forever educating the next generation of chronobiologists. Being a part of the Dunlap / Loros lab family means that one will never attend a meeting and arrive completely alone. Thank you Jay and Jennifer for all you have done and continue to do for the circadian community and for SRBR! 


 Jay and Jennifer created an environment that was perfectly suited to stimulate the novel and exciting work that was done in their joint lab over the past 40 years. Their efforts to characterize and define the basic mechanisms behind the core clock and output greatly advanced the field of circadian rhythms. Beyond the scientific contribution of the Dunlap/Loros lab, the time that Jay and Jennifer spent as mentors to junior scientists within and beyond the lab have helped to create the next generation of circadian researchers.


Jay and Jennifer’s contribution to SRBR, as well as the field of Chronobiology, has been massive. As a postdoc in their labs, going to the bi-annual SRBR conference was expected and I certainly benefited by attending several meetings during my time with them. Additionally, a bit of my work as a postdoc was published in the Journal of Biological rhythms, so they certainly support SRBR’s official journal. I know they are and have been both very active in serving other aspects of SRBR’s mission, such as serving on various committees. They are certainly deserving of this award in their honor.


“I am so grateful that I was given an opportunity to learn from Jay and Jennifer. They gave me freedom to explore different projects and guided me to become an independent researcher. As a principal investigator, I try my best to be as patient and nurturing as they were to me, but I think I have a long way to go. 


Being a postdoc in the Dunlap and Loros labs was hugely stimulating and enjoyable. The focus of the research was interesting and their labs were filled with enthusiastic students and postdocs from around the world. Discussion and critique were encouraged and only the highest standard of research was acceptable. Jay and Jennifer were my guides and cheerleaders


I had the pleasure of completing my post-doctoral training in Jay and Jennifer’s lab. Through this time, Jay and Jennifer demonstrated a unique wonderful blend of intellectual brilliance, curiosity, collegiality, and thoughtfulness. Students, post-docs, peers, and collaborators thrived in their presence. While notably productive, the lab environment was a warm, friendly, and cohesive place to work. It was run as if it were a very large, functional, and respectful family. I, and I am sure countless others, treasure the memories of time spent in and out of the lab. I marveled at their unwavering commitment and significant contribution to the field of chronobiology and it was infectious. How generous they were with their time, compassion, and companionship as we navigated the mechanistic complexities of circadian rhythms throughout the sometimes slow and sometimes steep path of scientific discovery. I can think of no other pair more deserving scientists that have given so much to the field while also impacting the lives of so many. Every day I am thankful that our paths crossed and can only hope that all budding and established scientists are fortunate to have a Jay and Jennifer in their lives! 


I did postdoc in the Dunlap/Loros lab. I really appreciate so much supports from Jay and Jennifer!


Jay and Jennifer have been two great mentors (and colleagues) that have made working on clocks a fun and exciting adventure. Not only they have helped to advance the field of chronobiology, but in doing so they have fostered and nurtured a new generation of scientists, colleagues, and friends.  


I strongly support the nomination of Jay Dunlap and Jennifer Loros for the SRBR Pioneer Award. Both Jay and Jennifer are unquestioned pioneers of molecular chronobiology and are mostly responsible for the establishment of the Neurospora model system for eukaryotic circadian clocks. In addition to the cloning of the first Neurospora clock genes and establishment of the circadian negative feedback mechanism, their lab are responsible for many fundamental discoveries that lead to our current understanding of the eukaryotic clock mechanisms. In addition to their scientific achievements, they are also responsible for mentoring many chronobiologists which became independent investigators in the circadian clock field.


I am very grateful to Jay and Jennifer for the impact they have had on my academic and research career. The period of time I spent in their laboratory was extremely important and contributed a lot to the formation of my scientific and professional foundations. Anderson Garbuglio de Oliveira


I owe my growth as a person and a scientist to Jay and Jennifer. I did my Ph.D. in their lab and had just moved to the United States from India. I fell in love with the science in their lab and definitely fell in love with science in general. It is in their lab that I learnt to do science the right way. I will forever be grateful for their contribution to me as a person and a scientist. My Ph.D. was the best experience of my scientific career as Jay and Jennifer made sure that I was surrounded by kind, down to earth, smart and hardworking people. Their contribution to the field is immense but their ability to take care of and guide young scientists is beyond quantification


‘I was a fairly early member of the Dunlop/Loros labs and have thus seen the successes that my contemporaries who passed through at that time have had (they have gone on to faculty positions, positions at NSF, at research institutions, at PUIs, etc). This was at a time of growth in the number of people in the lab but this did not impact the mentorship that Jay and Jennifer provided—I always saw this as an important balance among providing advice, giving one enough freedom to succeed but also to stumble, and also enough oversight to reel back in ideas (or for that matter personalities) that werent panning out.


Jay introduced me to a problem that has captivated me for my entire professional career and provided me with the training to sustain that career. I will be forever grateful.


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